[Suggestion] Complete aircraft overhaul.

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Demigan, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Demigan

    Aircraft in PS2 need an overhaul, badly. For every total hour spend in the Valkyrie, Liberator and Galaxy combined, 5 hours are spend in ESF. This is indicative of a badly balanced air-game.

    To remedy this, the entire air-game needs an overhaul (besides the ability to switch to full mouse-control or full keyboard control instead of this half-and-half). Each aircraft needs a loadout option that provides a unique and valuable way to engage air, ground vehicles and infantry. Similar to ground units, using the mid-way option to engage two or more unit types would result in a weapon like the Basilisk: It can perform the role but it's not good at either. The assumption is that G2A fire will be balanced as well so that's not handled here.

    ESF new roles:
    Helicopter role (Rocketpods, Hornets) is reduced in effectiveness or removed. This ability is given to the Valkyrie.
    A2A nosegun capabilities are reduced. Instead wing-mounted small caliber auto-canons take the role of A2A.
    Fighter-bomber role introduced by the addition of bombs. AV bombs can deal direct damage upon hit and use AV grenade splash damage (but not necessarily it's damage), AI bombs use large amount of bombs with medium AOE to kill infantry. A COF is included to prevent easy high-altitude bombing (hang above target/spawnroom/contested area, just drop until empty). Variations of bombs, like smart-bombs and the like could be made available.

    Valkyrie new roles:
    It keeps it's transport role. Additional option for afterburner is added.
    Attack helicopter. For example by allowing the pilot to remove the rumble-seats and replace them with rocketpod/hornet like weapons. Large-caliber auto-canons are also available for engaging larger aircraft, alternative AOE auto-canons are available for A2G AI work. Frontal nose canon could also get upgrades.
    Light gunship. Rumble seats are replaced with two turrets. The turrets can individually switch which side they are hanging on to by pressing X, allowing both turrets to fire at the same target. Turrets would have different weapon options for AI, AV and AA.
    Forwards spawnpoint. Valkyrie isn't as resiliant as a Sunderer but would be perfect for a quick spawnoption in area's normally not accessible this way. Great for attackers... But defenders get new ways to avoid the vehicle superiority of the attackers and create new spawnpoints as well.

    Liberator new roles:
    It keeps it's current gunship role. New specific A2A oriented nosegun and bellygun is added. The A2A bellygun has a much larger elevation, depression and traverse radius than other bellyguns.
    Bomber. bellygun is removed and replaced with a bomb bay under the control of the pilot. Similar to ESF, various bombs can be equipped.

    Galaxy new roles:
    It keeps it's current transport role.
    A Galaxy Gunship role is added, removing the transport capabilities and adding two side-mounted heavy weapons. Similar to the Valkyrie a variation of turrets is available (including AA) and the turrets can switch which side they are on by pressing X. This could be an alternative Galaxy with lower resistances or hitpoints in case it's power is too high.
    Carpet-bomb role added. Drop lots of bombs in a short period of time. Couls also be an alternative Galaxy frame with different resistances and hitpoints.
    Galaxy FOB: Allows a Galaxy to deploy outside of constrution-denial zone's. Once deployed people can spawn there and can spawn ground vehicles, not including the MBT.

    These are just idea's, not set in stone. If you have a better idea for an aircraft role to make all aircraft useable please put them in the comments below.
    • Up x 1
  2. That_One_Kane_Guy

    I for one would welcome LGBs and designators so I can do more for my team as a infil when I see a tank or sundy than just sporting it and hoping someone is paying attention.
    I like the idea of the Valk being a SciFi Hind or a LAAT-lite, seems like that was a missed opportunity when it was introduced.

    More later my break just ended
    • Up x 1
  3. Campagne

    I agree that air needs an overhaul, but I feel that power should be taken away from single pilots, not given to them. Pilots don't need easy access to their gunner's weapons as well.

    Anyway, this is probably what I'd do:

    • ESF:
      • Remove hover capabilities and reverse-maneuver.
      • Decrease accuracy of all AI noseguns & rockets.
        • Ideally this would remove the stupid hover duels and greatly reduce aircraft's ability to target the ground.
        • Let them keep their point and click weapons of mass destruction, but have them require rapid and accurate target acquisition or run the risk of slamming into the ground.
    • Valkyrie:
      • Slightly increase accuracy of all weapons.
      • Remove all AOE from all weapons, leaving direct damage only.
      • Grant innate squad spawn capabilities from up to 800m.
        • Ideally the Valk would become the proper troop transport is should be and step away from the gunship role I see it used for so often. --Automatic weapons don't need to have splash damage, especially not when they're mounted to a fast, armoured, high health, high mobility platform that is functionally immune to the majority of targets it engages.
        • The small arms vulnerability negates the ability to hover way above a fight like a Galaxy can.
    • Galaxy:
      • Reduce total health.
      • Remove innate squad spawn.
        • The point of the Galaxy should be as a heavy dropship, capable of carrying entire squads and MAX units. --Not hovering well above a fight dropping infantry onto the point in perfect safety.
    This is all based off the assumption that AA becomes balanced and all air units are taken out into the town square and beaten with the inquisitor's nerf bat.

    Keep in mind these are just my opinions, and I don't have a lot of flying experience because I'm not a degenerate a ground peasant.
  4. Wingthong

    I don't see why people have such a hard on for removing all individuality from this game, the main problem I find with this thread is the call to (and I quote): "remove the stupid hover duels and greatly reduce aircraft's ability to target the ground". So you want to make ESFs in this game modern day jets? how about go play battlefield? I suspect you call hover duels stupid because you have no experience with them, and I would politely ask you not to comment on aspects of the gameplay that you have no experience with.

    I'm not sure I follow demigan's point on usage rates of aircraft pointing towards imbalance between them, as this is my view:
    -gals are only used by squad leaders to drop squads/platoons, not sure how you can compare it to an ESF.
    -Valks are cheap transport like the flash/harasser, for hard to reach areas or surprise attacks for small squads. again not sure how it compares to ESFs
    -Libs are for anti armour and my choice for raiding tank zergs and popping attaching sundys, as their increased DPS vs an ESF allows for fairly fast kills. they are MILES BETTER for dealing with armour than the hornet ESF, as you can just snipe with a Dalton from long range.
    -ESFs are can kill armour, but facing more than one tank often ends in an AP round to the cockpit because of how hornets disable the user and require fairly close range, so libs do it better.

    This game pushes team play a lot, and while I am part of a very active outfit I still solo most of the time (just like most of the planetmen). the ESF suits that role because it is 100% effective with just me! now while I do solo lib a fair amount, the changes to Dalton mean it is even harder to solo as you need a volley of hyena/walker to finish, making it even harder to play solo. you see what I'm getting at here? ITS THE ONLY SOLO AIRCRAFT. of course it will be played the most...

    By the way you wave your E-Dick around about the amount of aurax'd infantry weaponry you have, I can tell you are clearly an infantry main. This isn't like comparing the light assault and the engineer or comparing carbines, all the air vehicles have their place in their own different way.
  5. Icehole1999

    I think they should cut the ESF heath pool drastically, or remove afterburner. You can deter aircraft from the ground now, but start damaging one and it will just speed away, repair and come right back. The only other unit in the game that can do that is the Harasser, and those are just as bad. Tanks can’t just run away at 200+ kph. Neither can infantry, MAXs, Sunderers, or anything else.

    Or, make AA weapons do double the damage they do now.

    I actually really like all these ideas you’ve laid out Demigan. Especially the ones for the Valkyrie.
  6. strikearrow

    I agree with your A2G ideas, but none of your A2A ones. The ESF should be the A2A terror of the skies, with less A2G abilities. No air vehicle should have much of a chance against an ESF. A Lib., or Gal should last a bit longer simply due to their HP pool, but they should have no realistic chance of shooting down an ESF. They certainly should not be able to land and have 3-4 engies + fire suppress out-repair the damage an ESF can dish-out. A Valk should just melt like an MBT vs a undeployed Sunderer.

    As for removing RM and hover from ESF, that would be fine just to increase the number of ESF pilots because stronger A2A ESFs would mean that without friendly ESF support, Libs., Gals and Valks would see less use than they have now.
  7. UberNoob1337101

    Average Sky-knight response post to air change suggestion thread in a nutshell :

    1. Instantly reject any alteration to the Reverse Maneuver or ground-pounding.
    2. Right after this, say that even a tiny change to this system will instantly make ESFs like modern day jets and specifically, exactly like in the Battlefield games (completely ignoring the different controls, TTK differences and fundamentally different meta and gameplay and so many differences that make my head hurt)
    3. Right after this, attack the player's skill and experience within the system because who tf posts constructive criticism on this forum.
    4. Make questionable claims that are only explained with equally questionable and potentially contradicting experience.
    5. Don't forget to be salty about someone not maining air like you lol.

    What a perfectly boring response-

    I'm not even upset about the post, I'm just burnt out on this forum because I've seen countless replies like these on these sorts of threads, and they never really go into detail and are overly vague and defensive. I'd love if someone spent some time writing why exactly is the current air game/relations between air vehicles good without bringing up the usual lazy cop-out responses.

    Plus, you mention team-play being pushed by this game a lot, yet you confirm that the most played vehicle by a huge margin is an ESF, which kind of contradicts itself since ESFs are very much a solo vehicle with next to no team requirements. I think there are many more things that contribute to ESFs being extremely dominant in the skies, I see Libs once in a blue moon from my experience, and they usually keep getting mowed down by Ranger Harassers or ESFs without achieving anything significant. Valks are throw-away transports unless someone has a gimmick build and Gals are pretty useful for platoons, but don't do anything else.

    I wish there were some buffs for Libs, Gals and Valks though, they feel too niche and situational compared to other vehicles. Needing 2+ crew members is a gigantic disadvantage as-is.
    • Up x 2
  8. Campagne

    ESFs are modern day jets, they can just turn on the air brakes like Bugs Bunny and float in the air whenever it conveniences them. It's stupid. Ignores all physics and logic, and simply creates a simple low-skill means of remaining mostly stationary to aim as easily as possible. The reverse maneuver wasn't even supposed to be possible.

    If you read the rest of my post you'd have seen the part where I say I have little to no flying experience. I would politely tell you forums exist for users to communicate freely within a set of topics and guidelines, and that any genuine opinions or beliefs are legitimate contributors to any relevant discussion.

    Also I don't have to do something to great extent to understand the mechanics of it. :p
    • Up x 1
  9. RockPlanetSide2

    Again, all this is blathering.

    Are you balancing around prime time play... or are you balancing around the other 20 hours of the day. You can't pick both. Air will be bad during prime time or it will be overpowered during off hours (or visa versa)... pick.

    There are two completely different games in planetside 2... prime time play and off hours play. The quicker you understand that the faster anything you say will make any sense.
  10. DrPapaPenguin

    How about a very simple fix to the ESFs running away - reduce their speed and controllability once they are damaged enough, for like 10 seconds or so. Or reverse controls once you hit the red HP zone.
    • Up x 1
  11. Sazukata

    I disagree, we can have a healthy middle ground. It's over-specialized, low-skill deterrent AA that messes with proper scaling. Weapons on both sides of the equation having so much range doesn't help either.

    If we ever get powerful, medium-skill defensive AA, we can make large fights approachable for air while also being able to deal with the particularly frustrating players who exclusively farm small fights during off-hours (EliteSavior and ThatGoodGood & crew, I'm looking at you).
    • Up x 1
  12. frozen north

    I can definitely see where your coming from (I have had a similar thought before), but I honestly think that this would make for more headaches then anything.

    Primarily, I think that bomb dropping would make for a serious balance and game-play problem for two reasons.

    Firstly, in order to bomb targets, you would likely need some sort of bomb sight, which would likely be tricky to properly implement. The reason for this is that it means having a ventral (bottom) view, which could make aircraft tricky to fly in this mode.

    The second and arguably bigger problem that would arise from bombing is that since every aircraft is VTOL capable, balancing bombs would become a nightmare. An aircraft hovering in place could maintain a constant rain of explosive death over a very concentrated area. While this could be remedied by making it so that bombs cant drop while in VTOL, that means having to make a high speed pass that only lands a single hit, if any hits at all. This would then require a huge amount of damage on bombs to make them effective, which would result in a much bigger problem of players always using hit and run maneuvers that cant be stopped for bombing.
  13. frozen north

    One slight problem. Removing VTOL (hover) capabilities from ESF's would require a full overhaul of maps and game mechanics to implement. Since ESF's still need to resupply ammo, or just land for repairs at times, they would now need a new method of landing. This would mean adding runways to every continent, and a physics overhaul to account for the landing gear.

    True, you could overcome this issue by making ESF's expendable, but that would mean a heavy resource cost reduction, which then risks making ground units irrelevant as they get swarmed by ESF's. At that point, the game would enter into an anti air arms race, with AA effectiveness and pilot relevance being in constant conflict.

    Still, this is definitely an interesting idea. I just feel it would make for a balance nightmare.
    • Up x 1
  14. raffa2

    This game needs some fresh air (pun unintended), i wouldn't mind a big change, not only by changing some numbers like in the CAI, but introducing new mechanics or changing old ones to create a whole new experience, like it was for base building.
  15. LodeTria

    Air-craft, and vehicles in general, need a role before we do this kinda of stuff. Without it we just get CAI, a poor update that drove away players. Until this is established, vehicles will be nothing more than farm chariots that infantry-siders want nerfed into oblivion.
  16. Ziggurat8

    For every total hour spent as ESF, 100 hours are spent as infantry. This is indicative of a badly balanced air game. Buff ESF.


    Your logic is awesome.
    • Up x 1
  17. Sazukata

    Infantry is free and is also familiar to more gamers, so of course it has a ton of proportional hours. Demigan was comparing usage times among a unit class: aircraft.

    Though yes, usage rates are not the end-all statistic for a unit's power. But regardless ESFs are definitely above the power curve in terms of the abilities given to a single player.
    • Up x 2
  18. FateJH

    This is why balancing A2A power around nosegun primaries interferes with the effort of doing doing anything interesting with the rest of aircraft when every aircraft has a viable A2A nosegun. In a different system, bombers (or bomber setups) would be exposed to interceptors (or interceptor setups) and the hover duel approach would be inconvenient for the bomber-type.
  19. Ziggurat8

    Air craft that all have completely different roles.

    It's like comparing the flash and MBTs based on them both being ground vehicles then saying because 1 is used way more than the other it needs to be changed.

    I like the changes. I don't mind changing the air game up a bit. I think the opening statement on why exactly they should be changed is illogical. That's all.
    • Up x 1
  20. That_One_Kane_Guy

    (I'm going to preface this by saying that I do NOT fly in this game as I cannot be bothered to fly with a mouse but that I do fly in many other games and thought I would offer my $0.02 on the matter. So if this bothers you I really do not care.)

    The one thing that I think could be changed and would probably have the biggest immediate impact would be the way ordinance was treated in this game. One of the big issues with aircraft in this game is loiter time. A good pilot with no opposition can sit on a base and kill targets for quite a while before running out of ammo. At the same time this arguably makes an ESF more desirable than a Liberator since an ESF is a smaller target, can hang around almost as long, and requires no teamwork. Ordinance should (in my opinion) become both more scarce and more deadly.

    An ESFs primary role should be to clear the skies of enemy aircraft, BUT if they are good enough and if the situation permits they should be able to damage/kill ground targets depending on the load out. They should NOT be able to operate in the face of heavy anti-air just as modern ASF do not, but should be able to clear the skies for aircraft capable of SEAD. They should have a low ordinance capacity but a relatively high tempo. Their lethality to ground units should be balanced by their fragility and their down time (both can be adjusted until a desired balance is struck). For A2A operations they should have a much higher loiter time but their ability to influence the ground battle should be strictly limited to the number of mud movers they can splash.

    I look at the Valk and picture an Mi24 with his naughty bits cut off: a sad shadow of what could have been. I would love to see a platform capable of putting a squad on the ground and then loitering to provide air support as try push an objective. I see the Valk as capable of operating in a LIMITED capacity within a hostile AA umbrella, pilot dependent (just look at the ways a modern attack helicopter needs to operate to get an idea of what I'm talking about). It should be necessary for the Valks to stay near the ground to limit exposure to AAA and to fighters. Load outs should be available to allow it to engage either infantry or vehicles well, or a mix with lesser capacity. I'm talking the good stuff too, like TV and WG missiles, AP rockets, 30mm HE, a decent supply of ammunition, but a longer resupply time. It should be very, very vulnerable to dedicated anti air sources (like a snowball to Vesuvius) and while it should be armored against small arms to a degree it should still take damage from it, and concentrated fire should be, ahem, "unhealthy". As opposed to the ESF the Valk should be encouraged to operate low and to loiter near a target using cover rather than speed to protect itself. And while heavy ATG ordinance would allow it to be devastating if allowed to engage on its own terms it would be very vulnerable to being blindsided by AAA and fighters, and its resupply time would keep even a really good pilot/gunner from dominating a battlefield indefinitely.

    The Liberator honestly is an odd duck in this game, it's like the devs got lazy and mixed every conceivable A2G platform into one vehicle with predictable results. Personally I would have the Lib become an AC-130 analog: a high-altitude long range fire support platform capable of utterly wrecking ground units while being absolutely vulnerable to fighters and heavy anti-air (more on this later). It would not be protected from G2A fire with armor, but with the maximum engagement range at which all but heavy AA fire would be incapable of effective return fire. If it flies low, hoewever, it should die. It's an aircraft, not a tank. It would be a vehicle capable of engaging in combat either when the skies have been cleared of enemies or heavy anti-aircraft has been neutralized. It would have a long loiter time but a similarly long resupply.

    Lastly the Galaxy would be pretty simple: allow soldiers to spawn into it and drop out "a la" the C-47 from BF1942. Its not as permanent or survivable as a sundy and cannot be hidden, but can instead be used to orbit into and out of a combat zone to drop reinforcements into battle. Make it less armored than it is now (but more than average) and more mobile to keep the air battle more fluid. Deploying soldiers would give the pilot points like a sundy, maybe more. It should be vulnerable to fighters and AA of all types depending on how high it flies.

    All right, earlier I mentioned "heavy" AA. This would be player-controlled, long range AA that would replace the flak batteries that currently reside at major bases such as Tech Plants. They would NOT be for spraying at ESFs the next hex over, they would be powerful, slow, and accurate batteries capable of engaging incoming Galaxies and Liberators at high altitude accurately and lethally. The exact mechanics are up in the air, but they would need to operate in such a manner as to make smaller targets such as ESFs and Valkyries unfeasible targets, possibly by restricting depression angles and mounting them highter up than other turrets. Light and medium AA would also be player-controlled, but they would come from vehicles and MANPADs. These will have to be made lethal enough to allow kills against mud-moving ESFs that get careless and Valkyries that don't use cover but at the same time ineffective against high-flying targets like dogfighting ESFs, Libs, and Galaxies. In addition to being more lethal against aircraft, AA NEEDs to be made potent in an anti-infantry role. A fantastic AA weapon will be useless if it is so one-dimensional that no one uses it. (Also give the Engie a deployable AA for Pete's sake).

    The desired result of all of this drivel is thus: airpower becomes both seperate from and integral to the ground war, and vice versa. The fighters are all of a sudden necessary to prevent Liberators and Valkyries from tearing the PBI a new one, while as your tanks and infantry begin to chew through the enemy's AA it allows your own airpower to begin pressing attacks against their ranks. Limiting AA against high-flying targets means that dogfights can continue uninterrupted by ground fire if desired, but will punish ESFs that try to drop low and farm ground units that are paying attention, and require air support at small bases and in the open field to prevent high altitude Libs from running amok.
    Large bases will start out as no-fly zones for Liberators and Galaxies and require ground forces to begin reducing the IADS in order to allow air support to make itself felt. All the while reduced aircraft ordinance means that A2G would never be a constant downpour.

    IDEALLY this will allow all aspects of the battlefield to work together.

    REALISTICALLY in this game? Who knows?